Flash – Season III- Ep. 23 “Finish Line”: A Review

Posted: 05/26/2017 in Uncategorized

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My wife put it succinctly. “Well that was crap”. I in turn mentally queued Fonzie priming his motorcycle as he jumps the tank with requisite occupant in what is now a standard nomenclature for a show having reached its creative end. Did Flash actually jump the shark though? It certainly swam with one for a while. My good and bad exposition follow below.

The good- A fan theory about Iris West’s (Candice Patton) fate proved accurate and another problem was addressed via HR’s (Tom Cavanaugh) actions. The bad – the crew try to coerce a now grieving Tracy Brand (Anne Dudek) to lend a hand in saving Savitar (Grant Gustin)- say whaaaa? We’ll get to the herculean misstep that is the ending in a bit. The good- with HR’s actions, the future is no longer set and Savitar’s very existence is threatened as he now becomes a paradox and time has a manner of dealing with such anomalies. A cool shout out to Hunter Zolomon is given via  a “Black Flash” moment later. An equally cool demonstration of Sav’s reason for keeping Killer Frost/Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) around  is presented.

To completely dismiss the episode as garbage would be doing the show a disservice, but so would calling it a good season ender. The show that strives to one up itself and succeeded for two seasons over extended its reach with this finale. Flashpoint is big…huge…breaking time to right a wrong has consequences and in this regard, the show succeeded. The question of ‘was it worth it?’ is easily answered. One six month trip of wish fulfillment with catastrophic results to the lives of his friends and at least one death to account for, two if one counts Cisco’s (Carlos Valdes) brother.

The idea that the Flash is ultimately a hero and must behave heroically is earnest. His wanting to save Savitar however is bone headed. That he convinces nearly all his team to back his play is no less so. The notion that Savitar is as bright as he is malevolent saves the day from what could have been a watered down “let the light beat the dark..or Darhk” as was the case in the failed season ender of Arrow’s season 4. Someone who plans on becoming a god however is neither reasonable nor amenable to being ‘saved’ or ‘included’. Sav’s queries about what he will do, where he will live and which side of the church he will sit at captures both his bile and the notion that  his salvation is untenable. I get the meaning behind Barry’s attempt as at heart, Sav is him. The shared childhood moment, as with many emotional moments on this show could come off as cornball, but it does not as again…it is earnest. This villain however is just that and he seeks supremacy not inclusion. His master plan involving Cisco/Vibe and Caitlin was brilliant again drawing attention to the fact that if the Flash were to turn evil, he would be incredibly dangerous and destructive. The plan in action played extremely well with simple yet effective visuals.

The end sequence throw down between Sav and Flash was fairly spectacular as any sequence that illustrates Barry Allen’s intelligence usually is. His own Savitar moment with due color scheme was epic. I even enjoyed that the hand that ultimately deals with Savitar’s threat wasn’t Flash’s. The coming together of another nascent Justice League via Gypsy’s (Jessica Camacho) return along with the golden age Flash/Jay Garrick (John Wesley-Shipp) to take on Sav and Frost was spectacular. If you are John Wesley-Shipp who looked like he was pulled out of the comic source material, you’ve got to feel stoked, playing two incarnations of a superhero via two shows and two decades. Even the loss of one character, at least a version of such is well done as the promise of a 2.0 character stands to be duly interesting. A superior Harry Wells (again Tom Cavanaugh) returns- excellent. So much delivery and a superior happy moment…what could possibly befoul this run? The Speed Force. The G.D. speed force.

After a genuinely satisfying and earned shared moment for our hero and heroine, we get the carpet swept out from under us. No matter how it is presented, whether a ‘consequence’ or other variable, Flash Season III severely stuck the landing and will make the viewing of Season IV far less assured. While the series is ultimately worth your time, this finale was far from outstanding.

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